December 9, 2011

Settlement Round-Up

As the 2011 fiscal year comes to a close, there have been a series of settlement announcements. Some of the more significant are:

(1) Arthrocare Corp. (NADAQ: ARTC), an Austin-based corporation that develops and manufactures surgical devices, instruments and implants, has announced the preliminary settlement of the securities class action pending against the company in the W.D. of Texas. The case, originally filed in 2008, stems from allegations that Arthrocare and certain of its officers and directors issued materially false financial statements. The settlement is for $74 million. Reuters has an article on the settlement.

(2) Wachovia Corporation, a financial services company now wholly owned by Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC), has agreed to settle the securities class action pending against the company in the S.D. of New York. The case, originally filed in 2008, stems from allegations that Wachovia misled its equity investors about its underwriting practices and the quality of its mortgage portfolio. Interestingly, the district court had dismissed the settled claims, although the case was on appeal. The settlement is for $75 million. Reuters has an article on the settlement.

(3) Apollo Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOL), a Phoenix-based provider of private education, has agreed to settle the securities class action pending against the company in the D. of Arizona. The case, originally filed in 2004, stems from allegations that Apollo and certain of its officers failed to disclose that the company's financial results were materially inflated by the improper practice of tying recruiter's compensation directly to enrollments. The settlement is for $145 million. The case has a long history, including a jury verdict for the plaintiffs, a post-trial reversal, the reinstatement of the jury verdict on appeal, and the denial of defendants' cert petition.

(4) Over forty underwriters have agreed to settle the securities class action pending against them and against Lehman Brothers Holding, Inc., a now-defunct financial services firm, in the S.D. of New York. The case, originally filed in 2008, stems from allegations that, prior to Lehman’s June 9, 2008 disclosure of a $2.8 billion second quarter loss, the company misled investors about its financial health. The complaint alleged that the underwriters contributed to the fraud by failing to investigate the truth of statements made by Lehman in financial statements and securities offerings. The settlement with the underwriters is for $417 million. Lehman's former directors had previously settled for $90 million, bringing the total settlement amount to $507 million. Reuters has an article on the settlement.

Posted by Lyle Roberts at December 9, 2011 3:01 PM | TrackBack
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